DCWP accuses R.G. Ortiz Funeral Homes of exploiting grieving families in lawsuit

R.G. Ortiz operates eight locations in the Bronx and Manhattan.

Heather Fordham

Apr 29, 2024, 4:32 PM

Updated 18 days ago


R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home is facing a lawsuit by the Department of Consumer and Workers Protection after claims that they exploited grieving families.
DCWP says 48 complaints were submitted against R.G. Ortiz that date back to 2019. In response, they launched an investigation on the business that has eight locations throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
According to the suit, alleged complainants claim the funeral home failed to provide services that were paid for, mishandled or misplaced remains, and in some cases forced customers to sift through remains in storage rooms to locate their loved one's ashes. DCWP also states the funeral home misrepresented the amount of time it would take to return cremated remains and failed to properly repair remains for funeral services.
"Their conduct has left dozens of families in limbo waiting for their loved ones' remains and, in some cases, even worse," commissioner for the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Vilda Vera Mayuga said.
In September 2022, Alexa Guitard died from cancer at 20 years old. Her mother, Yahaira Reyes, hired R.G. Ortiz for cremation services for her daughter. Reyes says months went by without any word from the funeral home on when she would receive her daughters' ashes.
"They told me they were going to take her to New Jersey to get cremated, I used to call every day but then I stopped," Reyes said, "Then in November, after Thanksgiving, I went and asked for my daughter. They told me she was on her way to New Jersey that same day, I said 'Impossible.'"
Reyes says nearly two years later, she's still left questioning what exactly happened at the funeral home.
"At home. I have the ashes, but I don't know whether it's my daughter or not," Reyes said.
R.G. Ortiz has not responded to News 12's request for comment on the lawsuit.

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